Color Line | Black Excellence on the World Stage | Events in Portland Oregon
- 8:00 am - 5:00 pm | Sunday August 27, 2023
In an exhibit at the 1900 Paris Exposition, W.E.B. Du Bois presented a remarkable portrait of African American life. A selection of these photographs and data charts at the Museum invites visitors to critically engage with the visual dynamics of race.
At the International Exposition of 1900 in Paris, American sociologist, historian, and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois put together “The American Negro Exhibit,” a remarkable collection of more than 300 photographs of African-American men and women, homes, churches, businesses, and universities. These photographs were paired with a series of charts and graphs designed by Du Bois to visualize data about the descendants of former slaves in the United States. The exhibit directly challenged racist stereotypes and notions of racial segregation that were pervasive at the time. As part of this exhibit in Paris, Du Bois presented his prophetic and poetic statement, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line”—a problem of the human condition that remains unresolved to this day.
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